According to a recent statement from Verizon Wireless, the number one carrier in the US aims to reach 10 million more customers with their 4G LTE network before the year is up.
Verizon Wireless to only launch 4G LTE smartphones in 2012
At the current time, only 5 percent of their customers are on LTE plans and Big Red will change this by only unveiling 4G LTE capable smartphones for the rest of the year. VZW’s chief technical officer adds that the only state without 4G LTE penetration would be Alaska.
Now this comes as concerning news given that 4G LTE smartphones on Verizon Wireless all seem to debut at the higher $299 mark versus non LTE devices which range anywhere between $49 and $199. Given the huge hit Verizon Wireless has taken with subsidies when it came to adding the iPhone to its line-up, as well as concerns from T-Mobile regarding the stance of the mobile industry due to these subsidies, carriers will no doubt take an even bigger hit if they will need to begin subsidizing the cost of only high-end LTE smartphones. That is if their investors allow so.
The number of 4G LTE markets in the US are currently around 200 so Verizon Wireless still has a long way to go before it is safe to stop launching non-LTE smartphones.
Do you think Verizon Wireless will absorb the cost and further subsidize LTE phones to bring it below the current $300 price point? Would you be taken back by the high prices of LTE plans which would then become a norm if you needed data access on your device? Sound off in the comments below.